Reduced fourth series for NBC’s Heroes

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Apparently NBC won’t be ordering a full series of Heroes when it returns for a fourth season. It’s a decision I actually agree with – Heroes never fully recovered from the utterly lame second series and is only recently regaining its appeal with some strong new episodes.

According to Sci-Fi Pulse, the audience has been in steady decline, and the network is considering cutting back on the number of episodes. (Why do they do that? Less episodes = better quality?).

For me, Heroes began as an interesting concept. It was a very new-millennium approach to a TV series: everyday people who develop a variety of powers and how they respond to gaining powers. Remember when Matt Parkman was using his powers to find Molly, but couldn’t use his mind-reading abilities to keep his marriage together?

Sadly, after a really tight first series, the idea behind the show seemed to unravel. I can barely remember the series 2 story arc (and I don’t even want to try), but I found myself developing a hatred of certain characters: Mohinder never seemed to know what side he was on – he flip-flopped between the regular good guys and the Company, he ended up working for Arthur Petrelli, he gave himself powers by injecting himself with serum…blah blah blah.

I’m also thoroughly tired of Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia’s characters. Claire Bennet just doesn’t work – she’s gone from being the unsuspecting all-American cheerleader to refugee smuggler and fake passport organiser for heroes in hiding. But she’s still completely ineffective and dull. Yawn.

As is Peter ‘unflappable good guy’ Petrelli. That floppy haired moron and his Superman-grade moral compass is just no fun at all. It’s one thing to be a decent bloke, but Peter’s just so preachy at everybody. It would be a lovely advance birthday present if Peter and Claire could be written out of the show. Just allow Sylar half an hour in a locked room with each one and let him go to work on ’em.

I do think though that they need to make some big casting changes. Some of the characters have gone as far as they can (I know you love Ali Larter, but how many clones can one gal have?). I’m not sure I’m all that entertained by Hiro and Ando anymore – Hiro’s role as the comedy comic-book hero has taken a back seat recently, and I’m still reeling from when Arthur Petrelli stole everybody’s powers.

The tragedy here is that Heroes started out with so much promise and lost so much attention and respect in subsequent series. If they can reclaim some of the former glories by the end of series 3, perhaps they can set things up for a great fourth series and come out smiling again.

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